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  • Writer's pictureRoger Hampton

17. Back and forth

A lot happened before the summer, not least at my everyday workplace, so let me apologise for not writing more sooner. That said other things happened besides work, which I will explain a later.

With the last blogpost, the roof had been all but completed. The workers were more than glad to get off the roof, as the temperatures were above average in June and working on the exposed roof had been tough. It was time to move inside again.

The roof spans from one outside wall to the other. The two large Capriata, something similar to a king pin truss, which enabled the freedom to place the walls on the first floor as we wished. Me being me, I made some last minute changes in the upstairs corridor, to increase the feeling of space. The corridor is very tall and without the change, the proportions would have been challenging. It is approximately 4m to the ridge line in the corridor. The walls have since been raised and I’m happy with the plan and the rooms that have been formed

The electrician has been effective and the first fix carried out as planned after our meetings in June. The plumber however, has unfortunately caused us some delay. Also some of the work was not as I wished and has had to be redone. This is not a major problem, time wise, but it always has a knock on effect on the others on site. It happens, but could have been avoided with better communication.

We visited in July and it was then, that I discovered the mistakes. We were set to have a meeting to get things on track again only to be stopped by a Covid infection. Talk about bad timing. Isolation in a hotel room is not much fun for one person, let alone three. Thankfully, Diego had an apartment that we could loan, which gave us some space. However, it was not quite the holiday we had envisioned. After a week, we thought all was well again, but no. This time it was our daughters turn, who hadn’t tested positive earlier. By this time, Diego, my engineer and project manager was on holidays with his family and all meetings were off for a time. We got frustrated about the illness and the feeling that our holiday had been ruined, so we returned home again, earlier than expected. Although I tested negative a week or so after falling ill, it has taken me quite some time to recover. In fact the period after the infection was worse than when I was positive, feeling very weak and coughing constantly and violently. Thankfully, things have improved again, but it took over a month. I hate to think how it would have been without vaccination.

Anyways, onwards and upwards. It is now the middle of august, Ferragosto and work has now stopped for the Italian summer break. The windows and doors were finished and I had to travel to Austria to pick them up and deliver them to site before the holidays. I tried to find an alternative solution to this, but there was none to be had. Maybe not the best option considering my recent health, but the only one I had left. This was actually the original plan, as I am lucky enough to have a license to drive a 7,5t truck. So it ended up being a road trip.

So the plan was, fly to Munich (was late as usual these days), train to Rosenheim (also late) , near the Austrian border and further with the rental truck to the pick-up in Oberau in Austria. After loading up I had to make a decision to either drive on or stop in Austria for the night. However, due to the late flight, baggage delays at the airport and further delays at the train station, loading had to moved to the day after. It took quite a while, but the guys were great. Thomas Gwiggner, the owner was really helpful and very careful to make sure that everything was protected for the journey. There was a lengthy discussion about the affects of the altitude on the glass, but we soon realised, that all roads lead to Rome and over the mountains at about the same height. So the nearest was Brenner, then down to Verona, on to Bologna and then out to the coast and to Le Marche. It was a great day for driving and the perspective from the truck, made it all the better. Shame I didn’t have company as by the time I got to Bologna, I really was quite bored of talking to myself.

I decided to stay in Fano. Normally I would choose my overnight stay based upon other things than  parking, but in this case, when your vehicle is 10x3m or there about, then it becomes a priority. It was good to get something to eat and a good nights sleep.

The next morning it was a site visit and a meeting with Stefano, my contractor. They have been working on plastering the inside and it does make a difference. It amazes me, even after all these years, how a building changes during the different phases. Now we are getting closer to seeing the final form, and I am very happy. It’s nice when the workers stop you to tell you how nice it is going to be and that it is a pleasure to work on. Everything that I had taken up after my visit in July had been changed / corrected and the plaster made the rooms more complete. When the windows go in, that’s when things really change though.

At the end of the day, it was time to off load the truck. Everybody was in good spirits as it was the last job before the holidays, despite the weight of some of the elements. Three layers of glass is still unusual in Italy and when you add 6mm safety glass into the mix, it really does make a difference. The largest elements are in the region of 160kg (roughly 320lb).

For me, the main thing was, that everything was safe and in one piece. I am looking forward to seeing them installed.

Contented, it was time to drive north again. I made for Cagli to get a head start of the traffic, which I knew would be bad the day after. Indeed, around lake Garda it was. I lost maybe an hour and a half in delays, but that didn’t matter. Again it was a beautiful day for driving through the mountains. Mission accomplished!


Don't just leave it as a dream. Just remember, dreams do come true, but seldom without a little proaction.

Stay safe everybody and best wishes to you all!

I hope you are enjoying the posts. Tell me what you like and/or dislike about them. I know a lot of you are Norwegian (my home), is there anything I can explain better or needs translating? Do any of you dream of a place in Italy? Can I help you begin to realise your dream?

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